GTFO is a horror-survival first-person title that drives players to their fullest of capabilities, encouraging squads to work together, to communicate and make plans in order to succeed, but success rates are not high and it shows just how difficult the game actually is, which has proven, so far, to be a worthwhile experience.
Over the past couple of weekends, I’ve been spending a few hours here and there in one of the most intense of experiences that I’d even imagined would be possible when it came to a co-op title. While I knew about the premise of what GTFO by 10 Chambers Collective is due to content creators such as Markiplier, Midnight and a few various other content creators, and its The Game Awards reveal, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect on a personal level.
I’m not a rookie when it comes to the veteran members of the teams history, many of them are known for their work on games such as the PAYDAY series and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon and various other triple-A titles. I was used to much of what their games offered ranging from tactical shooters and stealth espionage games, ones that required careful planning before moving on ahead.
As the release to GTFO and its Early Access neared, my interest grew deeper, but why? It’s a four-player co-op horror shooter, what makes this one so unique? Well, a lot really and my failures outweigh my successes, often leading to the fact the squad I was with made mistakes. Our stealth may not have been good enough, our communication may have been slightly off, or perhaps one of us fired in the direction of another player, wounding them.
To really know what it is though, you have to understand the basic outline: GTFO is a co-op title that emphasizes heavily upon his horror-survival elements. Supplies are limited, no one weapon set will win a lobby. Everything is extremely balanced and all the odds are weighed against you. Zombie-like enemies fill the complex top to bottom, making it so you have to work through every portion of a rundown with a various group of players unless you can get a set group such as the one my pals and I have begun to arrange.
The premise outside off that is simple: Don’t expect to survive. 10 Chambers Collective is adamant about the fact that their game is unforgiving, praising those who find success in the odds that are prepared to face them down. Success rates are below an 8% ratio, making it one of the toughest games on the market out of the thousands of players playing, which sees around an average of 1,035 players playing at peak times.
You’ll find that their Discord is continually growing, allowing players to have better odds of grouping up, allowing 10 Chambers Collective to see steady growth in their community. I’ve had the chance to group up with the same few players each time I am on, working with them the best I can and even arranging a team based on the codes provided to our site for our preview, allowing my friends Shannon, Dustin, and Elona to join me for some horror-induced escapades.
Let me make this clear: GTFO is the most brutal game I’ve played next to Sekiro: Shadow’s Die Twice, which in many ways, is a compliment and disgruntlement. At least the prior is a bit more fun and one of the most atmospherically well-designed games I’ve played to date. In the hours I’ve spent with GTFO, I’ve learned that sneaking up on enemies and timing coordinated sledgehammer swings is a key element to the game.
I’ve come accustomed to using the map where we can pull it up, drawing on it with the right click of our mouse to prepare for our insertion’s and where we need to go. One of the main elements of the game is one I’ve come to love about the Alien franchise after seeing Vasquez, her light machine gun, and her biosensor: I got to do that here too. I’m the bio tracker guy, the one walking in the middle of the group tracking down the infected.
We’ve been able to move room-to-room without incident – at times – moving in to find supplies, using the bio tracker to detect where a sleeper might be in hiding. It wasn’t uncommon for us to move around unhindered in empty rooms, finding solace in the fact we’d not need to burn our valuable ammunition or consumables.
It even gave us time to check the console we needed to in order to find our objective and what rooms contained what items. It gave us a chance to figure out where we needed to go, what routes we could take and how we could better optimize our party based on our equipment. Once ready, you’ll find that moving between room to room isn’t as easy as you might think.
There are often times you may have to go to a door that will set off the alarms, making it so your person with the bio tracker will need to utilize it to the best of their ability, marking moving targets while those with turrets set up cross-fire areas while the person with trip mines or c-foam sets up a tactical placement of their defensive items. These encounters aren’t easy though.
Where you might be able to fend off 10-15 enemies in any other title with ease, GTFO ensures that the odds are against you. These enemies are fast, they are overwhelming and in some cases, all Hell will break loose on your squad. You’ll find that the slightest slip up will endanger your squad, leaving you with low ammo and or no health packs at all, and your run can quickly come to an end.
But learning the more basic functions of the game will be what helps you go the extra mile. Enemies are easily taken down with well-timed melee attacks, avoiding the use of your flash light when you see the sleepers. communication and coordination is what gets you there and dispatching any enemies in a timely manner and leaving fewer challenges on the way.
Being as quiet as you can is one of the best elements of surprise that you have, making it a bit harder for enemies to track you down or swarm you all. Things can go wrong here, you won’t find that enemies will treat you as you would them. They are relentless and they are easy to detect and alert the rest of their group.
How they do this is actually quite extraordinary as enemies communicate while they are glowing, allowing them to alert one another when they are glowing, which makes timing critical when taking them out. Again, this game is all about tactics. Sometimes, being slow is an absolute win and it prevents unwinnable situations from turning into absolute blood baths.
If it does turn into a crap shoot, that’s when it comes out to determining whether or not your loadout actually worked. You can choose your primary and secondary weapons, a tool as well as your melee weapon’s cosmetic appearance. Weapon selection itself is important, but it does come down to your preferred play style. For me, I prefer the bio tracker, light machine gun and an assault rifle.
It allows me to lay down heavy fire, covering my team mates and their currents while our guy with the foam launcher lays down our tactical vantage points. Our guy with the foam launcher always paying off when he puts it down in the proper place, popping off shotgun blasts and mowing them down as soon as he can.
You’ll find that the more time you get in with the game, the better you re with it, which makes it a bit easier to survive in the complex, despite the fact it does reset weekly (from what we’ve seemingly experienced), meaning the levels will get reordered, new hazards are introduced and new dangers will emerge.
At the time of writing, the game doesn’t feature a matchmaking system, making Discord and private lobbies your primary form of grouping. While there will be one in the future, this means you’ll forced to use Discord, communicating with a group of random players that you’ll be meeting up with unless you get a dedicated squad like the one I’ve begun to form with three of my pals.
Graphically speaking, this game is absolutely beautiful, it’s breathtaking really, which makes it stand out from the rest. The particle effects, lighting, shadows, all of it is some of the most breathtaking there is, but somehow, also the most unsettling when you start seeing a sleeper begin pulsing in the dark while your flash light begins to highlight over it.
Performance itself doesn’t suffer even with the game only ringing in at around 5-6GB in size. Lag is non-existent, making the experience seamless and rather fun when you find a steady group to play with. Whether or not you use a mouse and keyboard or a controller, GTFO is a steady experience, which is remarkable compared to some of the games in a build as early as GTFO is.
While it is in extremely early stages, 10 Chambers Collective is showing that they can create an absolutely beast of a game, one where your survival chances are less than 8% and that if you can complete the entire rundown, you have absolutely bragging rights, which honestly, is outstanding. Even the foundations of a console build are already there and it shows that this game will have a lot of promise when it launches on next-gen consoles.
Until GTFO does get that far along, 10 Chambers Collective continues to impress and it leaves us already working on a detailed beginner’s guide to the game in order to help newcomers prepare for their endeavor into The Complex itself.
Our review is based upon a retail version of the game provided to us by the publisher for the review. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native video game reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook where he interacts with his followers quite a bit!